"The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris


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Title: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Author: Edmund Morris
Start Date: 9/15/17
End Date: 12/31/17
# of Pages: 920
Edition: Random House hardcover (2010)
ISBN: 9781400069651
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: inspirational

Why I Chose It: This is my Presidential biography for 2017 - I try to read at least one a year until I've covered all the presidents. Roosevelt is a favorite of mine, first because of his love of the American West and role in the National Parks, and post reading this (first in a trilogy), because of his general demeanor and resolve.

Quotes: (1) "[Woodrow Wilson said] 'He is the most dangerous man of the age.' Roosevelt is used to such criticism. He has been hearing it all his life. 'If a man has a very decided character, has a strongly accentuated career, it is normally the case of course that he makes ardent friends and bitter enemies.'" (2) "[young Roosevelt] thus, at a very early age, acquired a love for legend and anecdote, and inherited a nostalgia for a way of life he had never known." (3) "'Black care,' Roosevelt wrote, 'rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough.' [reflecting on the death of his wife]" (4) "It was still too cold to sit out in his rocking-chair ('What true American does not enjoy a rocking-chair?'), but he looked forward to many summer afternoons on the piazza, reading or just simply contemplating the view." (5) "...He was all teeth and eyes." (6) "'Like all Americans, I like big things; big prairies, big forests and mountains, big wheat fields, railroads, and herds of cattle too, big factories, steam boats, and everything else. But we must keep steadily in mind that no people were ever yet benefited by riches if their prosperity corrupted their virtue...each one must do his part if we wish to show the the nation is worthy of its good fortune. Here we are not ruled over by others, as is the case in Europe; here we rule ourselves.'" (7) "Although his Dakota venture had impoverished him, he was nevertheless rich in non monetary dividends...'If it had not been for my years in North Dakota,' he said long afterward, 'I never would have become President of the United States.'" (8) "Washington, D.C., in the Spring of 1889 was, for those who could afford to live there, one of the most delightful places in the world." (9) "'I do not deal with public sentiment. I deal with the law.'" (10) "Roosevelt argued that honest enforcement of an unpopular law was the most effective way to bring about its repeal." (11) "It was a classic Roosevelt performance: aggression, vehemence, frankness, and authority, expressed in sentences a child could understand." (12) "'I have only a second-rate brain,' he said emphatically to Owen Sister, 'but I think I have a capacity for action.'" (13) "'I feel sorry for McKinley,' said one Republican campaign worker, as he perused the election results. 'He has a man of destiny behind him.'"

Other Notes: I can't share every quote I'd like to...I underlined a quarter of the book. I can only implore you to read this biography, because it is excellent.

BooksKarl Magnuson